Kate Young on How To Stand Out in an Ever Changing Marketplace

25th April 2016

Originaly posted on clios.com

When the British chef Jamie Oliver launched a change.org petition to convince the G20 countries’ governments to provide schools with proper food and food education to fight hunger, obesity and diabetes, he turned to Soho Music to produce the campaign’s #FoodRevolutionDay Song.

Why? Because Soho Music isn’t just an independent music consultancy, but an all-inclusive creative music agency complete with an in-house recording studio and publishing company. Over the past eleven years, under the leadership of founder and CLIO Music juror Kate Young, Soho Music has become an operation equipped to support every step of the music process, as it sees everyone from artists to managers to labels and publishers coming through the door.

“Traditionally, other music companies might have an editing suite or a sound studio,” said Young. “But ours are residential recording studios, so we’ll have producers who come in and write an album here and artists who reside here as their main musical home, so it gives us a different edge…. It’s a hub for creativity and a hub within the music industry.”

This creative energy and breadth of expertise at Soho Music makes the agency an attractive partner for projects as large scale as Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.

For example, together with Oliver’s team, Soho Music approached and organized the song’s talent — including artists like Paul McCartney, Hugh Jackman, Alesha Dixon, Jazzie B, Professor Green, Jamie Cullum, George The Poet and more — and recorded and produced the track within Soho Music’s ‘The Gin Factory Studios.’

The campaign’s music video received more than 30 million views within the first 24 hours – far more than that of a mainstream artist’s new release, and it helped raise enough awareness to attract the number of signatures needed to take the petition to the G20 summit, according to Young.

“It was absolutely epic, and it was an incredibly proud moment,” said Young. “The impact and global reach created from this online campaign was huge.”

Last month, Soho Music continued to expand its capabilities with the launch of a publishing arm in partnership with Imagem Publishing. At a time when sync (or music synchronized within a commercial or show) is king, Young said she wanted to most effectively position her company within the changing marketplace. More than ever before, syncs are a crucial component of an artist’s revenue stream as record sales no longer bring in the big bucks given the rise of digital and streaming

“There are so many things that govern your chart position now, and there are so many things that are out of the control of the record label,” said Young. “It’s really hard to break a new artist, so sync is really important because it’s an extra platform where music can be exposed in the right way.”

For example, when asked to provide a summer track for a UK online fashion brand Very’s campaign, Soho Music sourced and licensed a remix of Major Lazer’s “Light It Up.” Although the track had been released months before, it was only at #18 in the UK official chart. When the Very ad aired, however, the track shot up to #8 in the UK and to #1 on the Shazam chart in only a couple of weeks.

Young also pointed to the importance of key campaigns in the world of sync: “The John Lewis Christmas commercial is one of the biggest [opportunities] in sync at the moment. [In the U.K.], everybody wants to know which artist going to get it because it’s an opportunity to break an act.”

Accordingly, John Lewis’ 2015 holiday ad used a ‘Half the World Away’ cover by Aurora, a little-known, young Norwegian artist who became mainstream when the ad aired in November and the song appeared on the U.K. charts.

“Because sync is so important, it felt like the right time to [partner with Imagem] and set up a publishing company for artists and writers, using the leverage we have within sync to sign people,” Young said. “It’s a massive opportunity to sign amazing artists and writers because of the access we have within the world of sync, as well as being able to offer direct opportunities with relevant high profile writers and producers for projects as required.”

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